Oh man, I feel strange. At the Sunday dojo there are some really old men, all 7th dan, who come to teach sometimes. Today, after practice, we all sat down (there was only one of the old men present) and had tea. He started talking about Siberian prison camps, and it turns out he was sentenced to 12 years in prison after the second world war.
Now, I've read up a little on the history, and it seems you had to have done something really bad to be sentenced for that long. To be fair, perhaps he was just following orders, or it wasn't his fault, or something. I don't know what he did, and I don't want to find out. The fact is, I'm really fucking freaked out by it. I mean, I think about all the horrible things that happen during wars, the death, the torture, the massacring of innocent civilians, and I feel really sorry for the people involved. But I am always far away in my warm house eating nice food when I feel sorry. But to actually come in contact with someone who may or may not have caused the suffering or death of many people... I mean, that scares the shit out of me. A lot.
And now I've read that a lot of Japanese soldiers had katanas, and that they would routinely murder people with them. So what does it mean to do kendo with this guy? Perhaps I'm just being stupid; I don't actually know what he did. But still.